By Caroline Katana
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has partnered with the County Government of Kwale in boosting the national government’s efforts to mitigate climate change by planting trees in various places in the county
Kenya has set an ambitious target to increase the country’s forest cover to 28 per cent by 2030 from the current 8.8 per cent.
Speaking during a tree planting exercise in Shimoni, the supply chain manager at KPA Johnson Gachanja said trees play a vital role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.
“Under the ongoing contract for the construction of Shimoni Fish Port, today the Authority is planting 2000 trees here at the Shimoni degraded sites and this is as per the requirement under our Environmental Management Plan (EMP) in our Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) license, as well as the KPA Policy in Corporate Social Investment,” he said.
Gachanja said that the Authority has plans to adopt other highly degraded sites by planting more mangrove trees at Wanga landing sites in Anziwani Village, Changai and Kiwambale landing sites.
“These sites have open patches caused by ecological imbalances due to human activities and require continuous tree replenishment, we have continued to protect the environment by initiatives such as what we are doing today, environment cleanups as well as protection of natural resources,” noted Gachanja.
Kwale county commissioner Michael Mwangi asked residents to join the government in planting more trees to achieve the set target of forest cover.
He ordered chiefs and their assistants to establish at least three tree seedling nurseries at their offices
“I’ll be supervising this exercise, if I come to your office even before signing the visitors’ book, I must see the three nurseries, we want to lead by example,” he told the chiefs at the meeting.
Kwale County deputy governor Chirema Kombo encouraged community environmental groups to embrace tree planting as a business that the county government and environmental organizations will boost by buying seedlings.
1,900 trees were planted at the Bahati landing site in Mwazaro Village which is highly degraded, 100 indigenous species; 50 baobab trees at Shimoni Primary School and 50 indigenous trees in Kichaka-Mkwaju Primary School respectively.